Best of Boston

Grit and Grace

What’s with the radio silence?  Why no blog posts since mid-April?  Blame it on my team – the Boston Bruins.  It’s no secret that I love hockey – the sheer speed and perfectly choreographed chaos of it – the rattling of the boards – how watching a game clears your head and gets your blood pumping.  Since the B’s were in the playoffs, and eventually the Stanley Cup finals which, I explained to my mother in her language, is the World Series for hockey, I spent many nights, over the past two months, staring at the television screen instead of my laptop’s screen.

What began on April 11th as the Bruins’ quest for the Cup ended late last night.  Even though my team did not get to hoist the 37-pound Stanley Cup trophy to celebrate a victory I believe they deserved – I maintain that my team won.

I don’t say this because, in recent years, Boston’s four professional sports teams have won so many championships our city has earned the nickname “Title Town.”  I say it despite the numerous, egregious penalties that were not called on our opponent, leading to shifts in momentum, that tipped the scoreboard.

My team won because they played with grit and grace.  They didn’t whine or retaliate when their opponent resorted to dirty hits.  They owned up to their individual and collective errors on the ice.  And they didn’t publicize or attempt to embellish their injuries, but rather silently played through them.

Which brings me to our captain, six-foot-nine Zdeno Chara, who took a puck to the face in Game 5 of the finals.  There was a lot of speculation as to whether he could continue playing the remaining games of the series with a broken jaw.  But I had no doubt.

Would it have been great if the Bruins had won last night?  You betcha.  I’d wear my #37 Bergeron jersey to the victory parade.  But I’m no fair-weather fan.  I love these guys win or lose.  I love these guys because they showed – in a word – class.

Best of Boston

Just Add Ice

Last Sunday night, while most people were watching the Oscars, I was at a Boston Bruins hockey game.  What can I say?  Hockey is my favorite sport.  Ordinarily my brother’s my hockey buddy, but he couldn’t make it.  A friend was eager to join me, much to the chagrin of her husband and children.  We brought a sign we thought would surely get us on camera.  It said,  COUGARS LOVE BRUINS.Bruins Sign_CC We were, after all, women of a certain age.  And my Boys are wicked cute.

When the roving cameraman ignored us, a couple sitting nearby shouted to get his attention.  He shook his head and said, “Can’t show that during prime time.”  Meanwhile, another live broadcast was underway where at least a half-dozen Hollywood starlets were dangerously close to having wardrobe malfunctions.  And my sign was too risqué?  Seriously?

My B’s scored first, but their puck luck didn’t last.  Suddenly they were behind 2 to 1 and it grew uncharacteristically quiet in the Garden.  That’s when I overheard the dad sitting behind us explaining the game of hockey to his two small girly-girl daughters.  “How many shots on goal do we have?” he asked one of them.  “Hear the tap tap of the stick on the ice?  That means pass me the puck…”

He reminded me of all the things I love about hockey.  The sheer speed and perfectly choreographed chaos of it.  The rattling of the boards.  How watching a game clears your head and gets your blood pumping.

spoked BWarriors on skates, my Bruins play with grit and grace.  At six-foot-nine, captain and defenseman, Zdeno Chara is the tallest player in the NHL.  When we say, “don’t poke the bear,” we are referring to Big Z.  Patrice Bergeron is the league’s best two-way forward.  He played Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup finals with a cracked rib, torn cartilage, and a separated shoulder.  It’s been said:  If hockey was easy, they’d call it football.

Win or lose, I love these guys.  Sunday night’s match up with Tampa Bay was a crucial game in the standings.  The final score was 4 to 1.  My Boys didn’t just lose, they stunk up the ice.  But no worries.  We’ll make the play-offs.   Just add ice.  And drop the puck.

Drop The Puck

POST SEASON SHOCKAH — My Bruins didn’t make the play-offs.  Instead, they’re off playing golf, and I’m rooting for the Blueshirts.  Go Rangers!

red poppy